PARENTING CONFESSION: 'I had the worst sex of my life to conceive my daughter.'

I’ve always longed for a daughter

My mum and I are very close and I have so many fond memories of going shopping together, watching chick flicks at the cinema, chatting about everything and generally being the best of friends.

After the birth of our son, I really wanted a baby girl to love. I started researching whether there was anything my husband and I could do to sway the hand of fate.

Enter the Shettles method. If you haven’t heard of it, the Shettles Method was developed by Landrum B. Shettles in the 1960s as a sex selection method.

Doctors stress that the Shettles method hasn’t been scientifically proven to work, but my husband and I had nothing to lose, so we thought we’d give it a go.

Here are the rules.

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To try for a girl, you need to time sex earlier in your menstrual cycle and abstain in the days immediately before and after ovulation. The idea is that the male sperm will die off by the time the egg is released.

Rule number two. It needs to be shallow penetration, so that means you can’t get too freaky in the bedroom. Missionary is best. Amen.


Only a man would come up with this part. Female orgasms are out until after the male has ejaculated. Yeah right. How often does that happen? 

You can go a step further and add more acidity to your v-jay jay (male sperm like alkaline conditions, female sperm prefer acidic conditions) by using a douche made from two tablespoons of white vinegar and two quarts of water. We didn’t bother with this part.

My period ends, and our son is fast asleep. It’s showtime.

I’m lying under the covers waiting for the husband, and as a joke, he appears at our bedroom door in a white shirt that looks a bit like a lab coat. “Are you ready for your insemination, Miss?” he says in a weird doctor’s voice.

I burst out laughing and off we go. 

I lie there flat on my back, listening to the headboard hit the wall as my husband plugs away. Usually, he’s a really wonderful lover, but we are on a mission and it’s missionary position or nothing, baby.

There’s a change in breathing and one final thrust as he delivers the goods. He doesn’t bother finishing me off, in case my Big O dampens our chances of conceiving a girl.

Day two. It’s 11pm. We’re both pretty tired but we know there’s a job to be done. We make this one a quickie, have a peck on the cheek and fall asleep.

After 10 days of really mind-numbingly boring sex, we’re both over it. We usually go for quality over quantity, opting for a couple of fun, solid sessions a week. This daily ritual has quickly become a daily grind.


By day 11, I feel like my husband is hiding from me. I lie on our bed waiting expectantly and call to him in the lounge, “come on husband, giddy up.” I think I hear a groan.

He pulls out his old fella and we attempt some foreplay. It takes a millennium for him to get an erection. Frankly, I’m as dry as the Atacama Desert. 

Somehow, we make it through, and we almost high-five knowing that it’s over.

A few weeks later, I’m starting to feel those familiar hormones. Sore boobs. Extreme fatigue. A test reveals I’m pregnant!

My husband is thrilled when I tell him. I think another period of daily Shettles-style sex might have been all too much for him to bear.

Wind forwards the clock and we are in the operating room. I'm having an emergency C-section. I’ve asked my husband to chat to me to distract me from what’s happening below the curtain. 

He stops mid-sentence, a smile lighting up his face. He says the words I’ve been waiting to hear my entire life.

“Honey, it’s a girl!” And just like that, our family feels complete.

Have you ever had a thought about parenting and immediately felt guilty about it? We want to hear your parenting confessions. The type you often don't want to say out loud but we all need to hear. Send your submissions (between 500-700 words) to and we'll publish them anonymously on Mamamia.

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